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Once Upon a Time...
...in the Swamp.
A 1989 sequel to the Swamp Thing.
Swamp Thing is still living in the swamp, avoiding Arcane's men and helping people when needed to. Anton Arcane himself has managed to regain his humanity after the events of the first film, and is still searching for Swamp Thing in hopes of gaining immortality from his DNA. He has invited his stepdaughter Abigail to his mansion, as he needs her DNA as well for the operation. Ignorant to his motivation, Abigail agrees to visit him in hoping that she'll learn what happened to her late mother. Later on she meets up with Swamp Thing, and a romance develops between the two as he fights it out with Arcane's men and mutants.
The Return has the additional examples:
- Actor Allusion: Anton Arcane's pet parrot is named Gigi.
- Abby tells her co-worker to let her plants to watch TJ Hooker on TV.
- Alliterative Name: Abigail "Abby" Arcane.
- Amazon Brigade: Miss Poinsettia is briefly shown leading one to attack escaping Swamp Thing.
- Attempted Rape: When Abby runs across the two moonshiners, they attempt to rape her.
- Axe Before Entering
- Batter Up: Swamp Thing uses Darryl's baseball bat to beat up mooks.
- Battle in the Rain: Swamp Thing's second battle with the leech man.
- Big Damn Heroes
- Big Eater: Darryll. When he and Omar are searching for Swamp Thing, he ends eating all of their food.
- Blind Without'Em: Dugan in the beginning falls down while running away from Leech Man, loses his glasses and then starts fumbling around searching for them.
- Body Horror: Dr. Rochelle's creations.
- Car Cushion: Swamp Thing throws Leech Man into a car.
- Chainsaw Good: Gunn wields a chainsaw during his last attempt at Swamp Thing's life.
- Chairman of the Brawl: Swamp Thing throws a chair at Arcane when he sees that Abby is dead.
- Cradling Your Kill: Arcane does this to Lana after he shoots her.
- Curb Stomp Battle: Every battle between Swamp Thing and Gunn.
- Damsel in Distress: Abby.
- Dark Action Girl: Miss Poinsettia, Gunn's assistant.
- Dead Hat Shot: After Leech Man captures Morty offscreen, his hat is found floating in the swamp, signifying that he is dead.
- Doomed Expedition: The office workers' search for the moonshiners in the opening.
- The Dragon: Gunn.
- Dramatic Thunder: Used gratuitously when the camera is panning over Arcane's mansion.
- Explosive Overclocking: Dr. Rochelle's death in the incinerator causes a chain reaction which makes Arcane's mansion to blow up.
- Eyepatch of Power: One of the mooks wears an eyepatch.
- Five-Bad Band
- Flatline: Abby flatlines when her energy is drained from her.
- For the Evulz: The two moonshiners enjoy stealing cars, running over animals, rape etc.
- Groin Attack: When Gunn is trying to come on to her, Abby gives him a swift kick to groin which is then followed by a beaker.
- Healing Hands
- Heel Face Turn: Dr. Zurell ends up betraying Arcane.
- Highly-Conspicuous Uniform: Arcane's orange-wearing Mooks.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: Dr. Rochelle dies in the incineration chamber for his failed experiments.
- Hollywood Silencer: Miss Poinsettia uses one to deal with two office workers who run across them in the opening.
- Hot Scientist: Dr. Lana Zurell.
- Immortality Immorality: Anton Arcane's motivation.
- Impending Doom POV
- Kissing Discretion Shot: Used when Swamp Thing and Abby are about to start their Mental Affair.
- Leitmotif: Swamp Thing's apperances are accompanied by a short heroic tune.
- Mad Scientist: Dr. Rochelle, who is more interested in causing mutations than doing what Arcane wants.
- Mad Scientist Laboratory
- Made of Explodium: After being set on fire, the leech man runs to the bog and promptly explodes.
- Mental Affair: Thanks to some plant that grows on Swamp Thing, he and Abby have some mental sex.
Abby: Was it real?
Swamp Thing: As real, as you want it to be.
- Moment Killer: When Gunn's and Poinsettia's Scar Survey are about to culminate with a kiss, one of the mooks interrupt them.
- My Brain Is Big: Mutated Dr. Rochelle.
- Names to Run Away From Really Fast: Mr. Gunn.
- Out of the Inferno: Swamp Thing casually stroll out of the fire that destroyed the Leech Man, and is given thumbs up by Darryll and Omar.
- Polly Wants a Microphone: Arcane's parrot Gigi.
- Porn Stash: Omar and Darryll are about to dwell into one when Leech Man attacks.
- Pulling Themselves Together: After being blown to bits by a grenade, Swamp Thing's remains travel to Arcane's mansion and regenerates himself in a bathtub.
- Reckless Gun Usage: The group of men in the opening constantly point loaded guns at each other while talking.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: Leech Man.
- Redemption Equals Death: Dr. Zurell's fate.
- Rescue Romance: Develops between Abby and Swamp Thing.
- Revenge of the Sequel
- Scar Survey: An argument between Poinsettia and Gunn come to a halt when they find out that they are both covered in scars and start comparing them.
- Screaming Woman
- Sequel Escalation: The Return contains more mutants and explosions than the first film.
- Strapped to An Operating Table
- Stuff Blowing Up: Swamp Thing's fight with the Leech Man causes various cars around them to explode.
- Sword Sparks: It's not just sparks that fly when Swamp Thing and Leech Man are fighting with poles, the fight also creates sword lightning.
- Talking to Plants: Abby talks to her plants, and she even has names for them.
- Tap on the Head
- Tested on Humans: Dr. Rochelle's method of conducting experiments.
- There Is a God: Exclaimed by the moonshiner Gurdell, when he and his buddy hear Abby's voice, just after talking about how neither of them has seen a woman (or a sheep) in months.
Who says there ain't God?
- Third Time's the Charm: It takes three times before Swamp Thing gets rid of Gunn for good.
- Those Two Guys: Omar and Darryll, the two bumbling Comic Relief kids.
- Two-Faced: Two of the caged mutants in Dr. Rochelle's laboratory. Other has a reptilian right half and other has an entire elephant face covering his left half.
- Use Your Head: Abby uses a headbutt against Gunn.
- Video Credits
- Waif Fu: 10 years of karate study in Okinawa has nothing against a two day vacation in east LA!
- Weaponized Car: Gunn tries to take Swamp Thing out with an armed jeep.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: Poinsettia disappears from the movie after her Scar Survey with Gunn.
- Wicked Stepmother: Arcane only sees his stepdaughter as a mean to gain immortality.
- Window Pain: Plenty of car windows shatter as Swamp Thing and Leech Man duke it out.
- You're Insane!: Abby says this to Anton in the halfway point and near the end. In the latter instance he notes that he has never felt saner.
- Zettai Ryouiki: Abby arrives in such outfit to Arcane's mansion.